Found in 12 comments on Hacker News
WalterBright · 2022-07-04 · Original thread
That's the conventional narrative. But if you read "Titan" by Chernow, it's substantially different.

Rockefeller never had a monopoly. He was accused and convicted not of having a monopoly, but anti-competitive behavior. Also, during the long trial, his market share kept slipping, and he was unable to stop the slide.

His competitors had never been vanquished, and had figured out how to compete with Standard Oil.

What's ironic about the book is Chernow reaches the standard conclusions that you wrote, but his actual text says the opposite. I suspect that Chernow's preconceived notions about Standard Oil were so strong he was not convinced by his own research and narrative of what actually happened.

krishna2 · 2017-09-05 · Original thread
For Rockefeller, there is Ron Chernow's.

There is also this book : The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy Reprint Edition, Kindle Edition by Charles R. Morris


markdog12 · 2017-08-25 · Original thread
Have you ever read Ron Chernow bios? I've read Titan (Rockefeller):

and Alexander Hamilton:

Both incredible.

I admit I've never been terribly interested in Grant, maybe I should give him a look. Tough when there's an infinite abundance of great literature. We're truly spoiled.

adamnemecek · 2017-05-06 · Original thread
Was it by any chance Titan about Rockefeller?

salemh · 2014-06-17 · Original thread
A great read is Titan, which follows his rise to the "Titan" he was. He was a genius with engineering (re-designing physical oil barrels), operations, finance, scale, industrialization, almost everything.

He is credited with creating modern medicinal research (though he detested it himself), and all around, was a highly unique character in history.

Not withstanding him destroying his competition and consolidating the market, with the goal of lowering kerosene (I may have the wrong oil-type here) by 95% as a goal for "giving to the masses."

Still many, many, many despicable acts, but a multi-dimensional man of course. * While providing abundant new evidence of Rockefeller's misdeeds, Chernow discards the stereotype of the cold-blooded monster to sketch an unforgettably human portrait of a quirky, eccentric original. A devout Baptist and temperance advocate, Rockefeller gave money more generously--his chosen philanthropies included the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Chicago, and what is today Rockefeller University--than anyone before him. Titan presents a finely nuanced portrait of a fascinating, complex man, synthesizing his public and private lives and disclosing numerous family scandals, tragedies, and misfortunes that have never before come to light.

tlb · 2013-08-18 · Original thread
Your might find it worth reading back-to-back biographies of the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers. The Vanderbilts' wealth created generations of horror. The Rockefellers did much better: generally functional families and several descendants making solid contributions to the world. It's clear enough from the books where the difference comes from. If you raise your kids right, inheritance is not a bad thing.

edw519 · 2009-07-04 · Original thread
Biographies of the very rich and successful who started with nothing are usually very good. I look for common themes and key points in their lives. A few of my favorites:

Carnegie by Peter Krass,

"Titan, The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr." by Ron Chernow,

"iWoz", by Steve Wozniak,

ChaitanyaSai · 2009-01-13 · Original thread
Titan, a Rockefeller Sr. biography by Ron Chernow, is great book.

I wonder how useful a heuristic this is: when people who fail at something tell you it's a crapshoot, and people who succeed tell you it's science. [Nassim Nicholas Taleb]( made some money in the market, but he says most successful traders are lucky. But [John D. Rockefeller]( made a lot more, and he said his money was foreordained.

Another data point: most successful gamblers seem to treat gambling as a science; bad ones seem to have more OCD rituals to go along with their losing streaks.

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